Well, I got back from camping last night. It was too short a break. The weather was absolutely perfect this time. We were at the same campground last year for the Labour day weekend and it was sooooo cold. It snowed on the mountain the day we were leaving last year. It did rain the first night we were there, but it stopped just before 5am. I know what time it was because I woke up having to go pee and didn't want to walk to the bathroom in the dark and rain, so I waited half sleeping and half listening to the rain for it to stop so I could go to the bathroom. The mosquitoes were pretty bad this time. I've lived in Alberta for 16 years and I haven't been bitten this many times since I lived in Manitoba. We had to go and buy bug repellent the day after we got there. Even that didn't really keep them away. Poor Mitzy was tortured by the bugs. I'm going to do some research to see if there is a dog safe bug repellent so she isn't bothered by them the next time we go. The first day we got there we didn't do too much except take our time setting up the campsite. It was so nice and quiet. The camp grounds are very well kept and nicely wooded. You can see your neighbours, but not so close that you can hear them. Here are a couple pictures of the campsite after we got everything set up:
Mitzy keeping watch and guarding the truck while we set up:
Our tent. It has more living space than our dining room and living room combined in our house!
Our screen tent. We set up our cooking stand in here so we don't get too many bugs in the food:
This was our "back yard" at the camp site:
As I mentioned, the weather was perfect. I had to take a picture of the sky through the trees. The sky was such a pretty blue with a few white puffy clouds here and there.
And lastly, this little guy was checking us out the whole time we were there. A lot of the little creatures are quite comfortable around humans and they came right into the campsite. He wasn't really that scared of Mitzy either. He was cautious, but didn't run away when she was checking him out. She got about 2 feet away before he took off down his hole.
We went for a hike to Johnson's Canyon the next day, so I'll post pictures of that tomorrow. It's a beautiful little hike up to the lower falls and only took us about an hour (with the dog. She has to smell everything. Probably would have only taken us alone about 40 minutes there & back).
So, I had taken a bunch of pictures of my stamp storage system, and for some odd reason I deleted the folder off my sd card without thinking and deleted all my pictures. I took a few today so I could show you how I store all my stamps. This first picture shows the actual binder that the stamps are stored in. I store my stamps on acetate sheets. If they are stamps for which I didn't have preprinted index image (ie from the stamp packaging) then I stamped the image onto acetate with stazon, then scanned the images and printed off two copies of the index images - one for the stamp binder and one for the main index binder. I put the stamps on the back of the acetate on their stamped image, and then put one of the index sheets and the acetate sheet into a page protector. I write the binder and page # on both the index and acetate sheet so I know where to put them back (in the top right - that particular page is B2-7 - Binder 2 page 7). If I still had the index image from the packaging, I just taped it to a sheet of paper, scanned the sheet, then printed that onto a transparency and another one onto paper. I then put the stamps on the back of the transparency where their corresponding image is, put that and the printed paper in the page protector. The original with the taped on index images goes into the index binder. Here is a picture of one of the stamp storage binders:
This next picture is from the main index binder. It better shows the images and how they're taped to the page for the ones I had kept them from the packaging.
The next part was the hard part. After having scanned all the index images, I then started categorizing them. All in all, I'd say this project took about 6 weeks from unmounting all my stamps to printing all the category pages for the binders. I had to make a few "rules" to follow when categorizing my stamps. Since I wanted to be able to find even the smallest stamp in whatever category it fit in, I decided that I would categorize each stamp in a set and that when I printed the image for a category index sheet, I would include the entire set. My reasoning for that is for the most part, if I'm choosing an image for a theme, then there are more likely stamps in that set that I could use as well. If an image fit into more than one category, for example the image above, there is an image of a woman in a bathing suit, I put the image into all categories it fit into. It could fit into the people category, subcategory women - or it could fit into the category activities, subcategory beach & swimming. So I put a printout of that set in both those categories. That set would also be in the category toys because there is a ball in the set, and it would also go into the shoe category because there is a pair of flip flops. This set fits into a whole bunch of categories, so I have the image of that set in all the categories it fits into.
The next picture just shows one of the category index binders (I have 2 right now and only 1 main index image binder). I use coloured tab dividers to mark off the different categories and just write the subcategories on the divider page.
So, this first page is for the category "Activities" and listed are my sub categories beach, games, gardening, music & dance, school, & sports. I can add more subcategories if I feel the need.
The next pictures show subcategory pages. I put the category on the bottom right of each page and the page #. I don't put how many pages in that subcategory (ie 1 of 5) because I will probably add to my collections and then I'd have to renumber all those pages. You'll notice that each image has the binder # & page # the image is stored in. I also included the manufacturer, the set name, and in a lot of cases whether the stamp is clear, bare rubber, or rubber on foam.
The last picture here shows all my binders. I decided that I will store all my clear/unmounted stamps in red binders. My main index image binder is blue and is basically an inventory of all my stamps. The category binders are black.
I have two photo boxes of foam stamps. I've stored these ones this way because they don't fit in the binders very well since they're pretty thick, but they are included in the index binder and categories. They're just labelled in the main index binder as stored in either box1 or box2. This one shelf, which is about 4 feet wide, stores all of my stamps - I estimate about 1200 individual stamps.
Well, hopefully, I was able to show you without it being too confusing how I've set up my stamp storage system. I love the way this works and how well organized all my stamps are. I'm able to quickly find - and even more important - put my stamps away where they are suppose to be. It allows for expansion (which I already have a few stamps to unmount and add to indicies), yet is fairy simple to maintain. If you have any questions about this system, you can always email me at email@example.com and I will try to answer your questions.
Well, that's all I have for today. I'm going to go get my ticket for the $50million draw tonight and take my little Mitzy for a walk. Hopefully, I'll have some time to work on a few cards tonight.
Talk to you later...